United Airlines grounds Boeing 777s, ordered to inspect planes after engine failure over Colorado

DENVER — The Federal Aviation Administration is requiring United Airlines to conduct “immediate or stepped-up inspections” of Boeing 777 airplanes with the same type of engine that failed Saturday in Colorado.

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According to The Associated Press, FAA Administrator Steve Dickson shared the news of the directive, which applies to planes “equipped with certain Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines,” in a statement issued Sunday.

“This will likely mean that some airplanes will be removed from service,” the statement read, adding that officials “concluded that the inspection interval should be stepped up for the hollow fan blades that are unique to this model of engine, used solely on Boeing 777 airplanes.”

FAA experts are meeting with Pratt & Whitney and Boeing to finalize the details, according to the statement.

Shortly after the announcement, United Airlines tweeted that it is “voluntarily & temporarily removing 24 Boeing 777 aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000 series engines from our schedule.”

Late Sunday, Pratt & Whitney also said it was meeting with regulators about the engines and “has dispatched a team to work with investigators.”

The news came the day after a catastrophic engine failure of United Airlines Flight 328 caused large pieces of debris to fall over suburban Denver, the AP reported. No injuries were reported in the incident, and the plane, which was carrying 241 people, landed safely in Denver.

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– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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